8 April 2014

The Forgotten Seamstress, Liz Trenow

Every stitch of embroidery of Maria's quilt is impregnated with her poignant story ripe with stories of Buckingham Palace, royalty and war.

 
After finding the London Sewing Machine Museum (oh yes, you read that correctly!), there was no excuse left for keeping this gem of a book to myself.
 
On the brink of both a personal and work crisis, Carolyn Meadows discovers a quilt in her Mother's attic from her childhood. She discovers that every stitch of embroidery, every thread of fabric is impregnated with the poignant story of Maria Romano; an East End orphan from a young age, brought up in a workhouse and ripe with stories of Buckingham Palace, royalty, illegal adoption and war. Is it all true? Are they simply wild fantasies of a madwoman locked away in an asylum?
 

This story captured me from the very first page. Picked as a random cheap kindle buy as a soothing story after finishing the tumultuous Delirium series, it caught me completely unawares. I cried, I laughed, I missed sleep in order to read right to the end. Inspired partially by a snippet of royal silk in a Textile Archive near Braintree Essex, and partially by the author spending a couple of nights in a former Victorian mental asylum, the author uses the parallel stories of Carolyn and excerpts of 'taped interviews' of Maria to weave a spellbinding tale.
 
Perfect for fans of The Language of Flowers and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society this is a perfect escapist story for snuggling on a Sunday novel or something to distract you from a dreary commute.

Both historically fascinating, and light The Forgotten Seamstress was charming and thought provoking. So much so, that fans of the book have created base patterns of Maria's quilt. It is an utter travesty that at the time of writing, the book is 99p on Amazon...

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4 comments :

  1. O I am very excited to add this to my to read list!

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  2. This sounds really lovely! If I ever finish The Luminaries (it's taking me FOREVER) I'll definitely look this one up! x

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  3. Hi there, London Kiwi. Welcome to our shores. Thanks so much for the brilliant review - much appreciated - and I am glad you like the book. Loved your piece on the Sewing Machine Museum, too!
    Best wishes
    Liz Trenow

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  4. Hi there, London Kiwi
    Thanks so much for the lovely review!
    Best wishes Liz Trenow

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